18th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference Held in Knoxville

The first week of March, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) and the University of Tennessee (UT) hosted nearly 250 scientists and silvicultural specialists in Knoxville, Tennessee, for the 18th Annual Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference (BSSRC).  The conference boasted attendance from academic, international, state, federal, private, and non-governmental institutions and agencies from…  More 

Restoring Forests, Part 2

Across the world, an estimated 1 billion acres of forests are in need of restoration, a formidable challenge that will only intensify under continued climate change. Where to start in restoring the world’s forests? What methods are appropriate? Restoring forests, already a complex process, is further complicated—and sometimes stymied—by a basic lack of consensus on…  More 

Making a Start on Restoring Hemlocks to the Southern Appalachians

This winter, in collaboration with the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Camcore program, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) established plots for the first phase of research to support restoring hemlocks to the forest stands in the southern Appalachians they’ve disappeared from. Andy Tait, NCSU-Camcore research assistant based at SRS, coordinated the planting…  More 

Dreaming of Giants: The Future of American Chestnut Restoration

For almost a hundred years, foresters have dreamed of the American chestnut’s return. “As the 21st century unfolds, the chestnut restoration goal may be closer to reality,” says U.S. Forest Service Southern Reseearch Station (SRS) scientist Stacy Clark. “Chestnut restoration will require an integrated approach that uses traditional breeding, advanced seedling technology, and forest management,” says…  More 

Restoring the Forest Before Gypsy Moths Invade

Keeping forests healthy is better than trying to restore them after droughts or insect outbreaks have already killed trees, but identifying future threats is sometimes a challenge. Not so in the Daniel Boone National Forest in the Cumberland Plateau area of Kentucky. Oaks dominate the area, but they are under stress and susceptible to decline, while invasive…  More 

The Olustee Experimental Forest

The 3,135-acre Olustee Experimental Forest (Olustee), located in northeast Florida was established in 1931. Part of the Osceola National Forest, the experimental forest served as the primary study site for a number of U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) units for almost 60 years. In the beginning, research on the Olustee focused mostly on…  More 

Bringing Fire Back to the Kisatchie Sandstone Hills

The hillside bogs, sandstone glades, and woodlands of the Kisatchie Sandstone Hills in Louisiana are potential homes to a number of rare and endangered animals such as the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Louisiana pine snake. However, in much of the Kisatchie Hills, the open woodlands these animals need have vanished amid a dense midstory of…  More 

Jennifer Knoepp Named Soil Science Society of America Fellow

U.S. Forest Service scientist Jennifer Knoepp was recently selected as a Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Fellow for 2014.  Fellow is the highest recognition bestowed by SSSA, an international scientific society whose more than 6,000 members are dedicated to advancing the field of soil science and fostering the transfer of knowledge and practices to…  More 

Young Forests Can Benefit Wildlife

It’s easy to think of forests as peaceful, unchanging places. In reality, this isn’t the case, because forests are much more dynamic than they may seem. In fact, forests are shaped by change, and many forest ecosystems depend upon it. In the aftermath of a major change or disturbance like wildfire or human clearing of…  More 

The Next Fifty Years of Acorn Production

Some acorns go on to become the next generation of oak trees, but others are eaten by birds, bears, rodents, and deer. Rodents are in turn eaten by carnivores, and deer browsing affects which kinds of plants become established and survive. “Acorns have a far-reaching influence on wildlife species and forest ecology,” says U.S. Forest…  More